Komodo Jones, his first name borrowed from his mother’s native Indonesia, has lived an uncommon life in an uncommon way. But the common theme – stretching back to the days before he ran into trouble with the law and before he worked for movie stars and music legends in Hollywood – was ambition.
After a turbulent childhood that landed Komodo in trouble with the law, he turned his life around – finding productive outlets for his creative energy and talent. Today, much of his work is dedicated to giving today’s youth that same chance. In a roundabout way, that goal led him back to Missoula – where he created Keep it Grizzly after realizing the Grizzlies had no school song.
Considering himself a media artist – one who uses photography, video, music, and web technologies like the strings on a guitar – Komodo decided Keep it Grizzly was the perfect opportunity to take his various talents and projects and converge them into an anthem for his home town.
Prior to Keep it Grizzly, Komodo cut his teeth in Hollywood working for the film production company best known for Steven Seagal’s films – where he learned the ins and outs of media and branding. Using his experience with Seagal as a jumping off point, Komodo started KOJO Entertainment, finding new ways to utilize the Internet to build brands. Using his connections and diverse background, Komodo quickly began to find success. Today KOJO Entertainment’s client list boasts a combined 30+ GRAMMY Awards.
While forming KOJO Entertainment, Komodo spent a year in Southeast Asia producing a compilation album that exposed him to the incredible affect of technology on the world outside the U.S. Inspired by the reach of technology across vast distances, Komodo decided to expand beyond music and entertainment. Relocating to Missoula to keep overhead costs low, he launched Content Monkeys (ContentMonkeys.com) – a branding company designed to offer story based media branding and content creation for companies and artists across the U.S. and around the world.
But Komodo’s true passion is the one that brings him full circle – to the days when he was a talented young man with no direction or access. It’s called Project Ambition (ProjectAmbition.com) – and it seeks to connect talented young people with an outlet to achieve their dreams. Keep It Grizzly Apparel is an internet-based platform that allows fans to follow and sponsor young talented people online. When you purchase an article of I am Keep It Grizzly clothing, a portion of the proceeds goes to the youth project of your choice.
After his own troubled youth, Komodo says, “I told myself if I was ever in a position to help kids in similar circumstances I would. I had very little access to media or the tools I needed to express myself creatively growing up. That led to boredom which led to trouble.” After working with organizations like the Boys and Girls Club in Utah, Komodo realized that all these kids had dreams, but most didn’t have access. “The reason kids pick up drugs instead of books is lack of access. The reason kids pick up a gun instead of a guitar is lack of access. Keep It Grizzly is working to change that,” said Komodo.
While in Missoula, Komodo also took the opportunity to settle an old score – finishing school. “First I got in trouble. Then I got busy, and I felt like I missed out on this incredibly important tool for improving your life. I preach to kids all day long – stay in school, stay in school, so I figured it was time to put my money where my mouth was, so to speak.” When you don’t find Komodo running his various organizations, spending time with his family, or in the recording studio, you’ll find him on campus at the University of Montana pursuing an MBA in business and an MFA in Media Arts. Oh, and quite possibly creating the next school anthem.